Series: THE MIDNIGHT BREED
Plot Type: Soul Mate Romance (SMR)
Ratings: Violence—3; Sensuality—4; Humor—2
Publisher and Titles: Dell
"A Touch of Midnight" (prequel novella, 12/2013)
Kiss of Midnight (2007)
Kiss of Crimson (2007)
Midnight Awakening (2007)
Midnight Rising (2008)
Veil of Midnight (2008)
Ashes of Midnight (2009)
Shades of Midnight (2009)
Taken by Midnight (2010)
Deeper Than Midnight (2011)
"A Taste of Midnight" (novella, 2011)
Darker After Midnight (2012, first hardback in the series)
The Midnight Breed Series Companion (nonfiction guide, 6/2013)
"Marked by Midnight" (novella, 6/2014)
Crave the Night (8/2014)
|Jordana's favorite artwork—|
and an important clue
These "Part II" novels feature the children we saw being conceived and/or born in Part I. In addition to the Nathan-Jordana romance, this novel also includes a slender story tread about a romance between Carys (daughter of Sterling Chase) and Rune, one of the La Notte cage fighters. Also new to these newer novels is the Joint Urban Security Taskforce Initiative Squad (JUSTIS), a law enforcement group comprising both supernaturals and humans. The Breeds view JUSTIS as bothersome and inept, while JUSTIS views the Breeds as arrogant and ultra-violent. If you enjoyed the new direction the series took in Edge of Dawn and "Marked by Midnight," you'll probably enjoy this novel. It has the same basic formula as the earlier novels: a soul-mate romance set against a growing threat against the Breeds and the world at large. In the earlier books, the enemy was Dragos; now it is the Atlanteans. Here's a simplified version of Adrian's formula: Love + Danger = HEA + Victory for the Good Guys. Click HERE to read or listen to an excerpt on the amazon.com page for Crave the Night. Just click on the cover art or audio icon at the top of that page.
In Part II of the series (which begins with Edge of Dawn after a gap of twenty years), Lucan is headquartered in Washington, D.C., as the head of the Breed Order; Sterling Chase is the district chief in Boston; Tegan is chief in New York City; and Hunter is in charge of New Orleans. In fact, most of the heroes of the earlier books are district chiefs in major cities across the country. The heroes and heroines of the Part II books are the children born as a result of the matings that took place in books 1-10.
Click HERE to go to "The Midnight Breed Character Guide," created by the Wicked Scribes Blog.
> "Tempted by Midnight": Lazaro Archer & ??
NOVEL 9: Deeper Than Midnight
As the story proceeds, it follows two plot threads. First is the love story, with the attraction between Hunter and Corrinne growing steadily and the angst level growing even faster. Second is the Dragos threat, with the villain poised to take down the Order with a diabolical plan that involves politicians, home-grown terrorists, and a spy (of sorts) within Lucan’s compound. Chase plays an important part in the resolution of the plot, which ends in a cliff hanger.
This book tells the love story of Chase (aka Harvard), probably the most highly developed character in the series. We have watched him travel a long and painful road: from his buttoned-down Enforcement Agency days, to his turbulent early days with the Order, to his fall from grace, to near-addiction, and now to redemption with a Breedmate of his own. Adrian is calling this the climactic novel of the series, and this is true in many ways. As the story opens, the Order Breeds are still on the trail of the evil villain, Dragos, who is in the final stages of implementing his plan for world control. In the first scene, the Breeds of the Order are fleeing their long-time Boston fortress, which has been made useless by Dragos' scheming. Now, they're headed for a Darkhaven (a Breed settlement) in Maine, where they must quickly regroup and continue the fight. In the meantime, Chase is in jail for his supposed involvement with the terrorists (Dragos' minions), who led the police to the Order's headquarters in the final scene of the previous book. Chase stepped forward to take the blame in order to give the Order time to escape.
NOVEL 11: Edge of Dawn
This book is set twenty years after the end of the climactic Darker After Midnight, and it opens a new chapter in the series. As the previous book ended, the evil Dragos was killed, but before he died he set free all of the imprisoned rogue vampires, who immediately spread across the world inflicting murder and mayhem on the human population. This horrendous event set off worldwide wars and anarchy, with humans fighting against vampires and against other humans as the Order tried to bring the carnage to a halt. At this point in time, Lucan is still the head of the Order with the difficult job of keeping a tenuous peace between the supernatural and mortal worlds. The babies of the previous books are now all grown up, and they play their own parts in the Order's ongoing story.
During the tumultuous twenty years since First Dawn—the name given to the first day the vampires were set loose—the Order has suffered some major losses, including Kellan Archer, whom we met in an earlier book when he came to live with the Order after his parents were murdered and his Darken was burned to the ground. Kellan has always been a loner, always somewhat stand-offish and sullen. The only person who was able to break through his emotional shield was Mira, adopted daughter of Nikolai and Renata. Eight years ago, Kellan and Mira had one passionate night together before he was killed in a warehouse explosion while on duty. Mira saw the explosion happen, and she has been mourning him ever since.
As this book begins, hot-headed Mira gets herself in trouble by attacking an unarmed human thug and is punished by being assigned to guard a human scientist who is traveling to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony. When Mira arrives to pick up the scientist, she walks into a rebel kidnapping and is drugged and captured by the rebels. As she regains consciousness and opens her eyes, she is shocked to realize that the rebel leader is none other than her long-lost lover, Kellan. The kidnapping is the catalyst that kicks off the complex and action-filled plot.
Kellan is definitely not my favorite hero of this series. He has always been a self-involved, petulant, brooding mess of a man. Granted, his early history was tragic, but in this series, nearly all of the characters deal with with tragic life events. Mira, who was always a relatively strong female character, seems to lose direction in this book, turning into a libido-driven airhead. Over the years, she has built herself into a strong and respected warrior, but as soon as Kellan reappears on the scene she just melts away into a pool of lust. Now remember, Kellan turned his back on Mira eight years ago and has allowed her to believe that he is dead. Yet, she forgives him and jumps into his bed within a day of learning how he betrayed her by faking his death all those years ago. Mira has been in deep and bitter mourning for Kellan all this time, dedicating her life to punishing the ones responsible for his death. How are we to believe that this strong woman forgives her betrayer almost immediately and actually takes his side against Lucan and the Order? For me, Mira's weakness of character undermines the strength of this book. Click HERE to read chapter one.
NOVELLA 11.5: "Marked by Midnight"
The story is set in London, where Mathias Rowan is a Breed warrior in the Order. Recently, the city has seen several murders, all involving young human men with black scarabs tattooed on their right hands. Neither the Order nor the Joint Urban Security Taskforce Initiative Squad (JUSTIS) has been able to determine the identity of the men or the reason(s) for their deaths. Mathias's friend, a Breed named Gavin Sloane, is a high-ranking member of JUSTIS who is also working on the case. When a new scarab-bearing victim turns up in the Thames River, he has a half-finished tattoo on his arm, so Mathias sets out to find the tattoo artist who did the work.
Mathias soon finds a shop run by Ozzie, an elderly master tattoo artist. Also working in the shop is Nova, a young woman with a tragic history. Ozzie found her on the streets years ago and taught her his art. Now she is an accomplished tattooist, and she is the one who did the half-completed work on the latest victim.
Up until this point, the story moves along quite nicely, but now everything changes. As the pace begins to accelerate, critical details are omitted, characters' motivations are unexplained, and the whole plot pretty much collapses in on itself. Within hours of meeting, Mathias and Nova are making passionate love, although they know absolutely nothing about each other. Meanwhile, we get bits and pieces of Nova's sad back-story, but not nearly enough to figure out exactly what happened to her and who was responsible. She has some kind of connection to the dead men, but that connection is never explained. It would have been helpful if Adrian had thought to include a prologue that filled in some details about Nova's background.
Although we learn the identity of the murderer of the man in the river, Adrian fails to explain why the killer did what he did. We never learn who the dead men are; we never learn the significance of the scarab tattoos; and we just plain don't have a clue as to what is going on here. All we know is that the killer is somehow involved in the underworld, but most of the "who?" and "how?" and "why?" questions are never addressed in any manner.
This is an unsatisfying, incomplete novella that cries out for more details—more like a sketchy outline than a completed work. Mathias and Nova definitely deserved a better story than this one. Currently, this novella is selling on amazon.com for $2.99 on Kindle and $7.99 in paperback. In my opinion, the paperback price is way too high for such a brief and unfinished story (only 146 pages). Even if this story line is continued in the next book (and I'm not sure if it will be), this novella is an imperfect, underdeveloped product that does not in any way measure up to the other works in this series.